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Ali’s top 5 tips for salad combinations

My favourite catering hack is to grab a couple of boxes of Botanica salad whenever we have friends popping over or a special family occasion.

You can pop into one of our centrally located Botanica shops to grab a box of salad with all the hard work and cleaning done by us. So now that you know where to go the question remains: how do you choose the salads you are going to serve? 

Consider my top 5 tips to creating the perfect spread that will not only taste incredible but also have your friends pulling out their phones to snap a photo of the gorgeous feast.

Tip #1: Consider colour and texture
When you are choosing more than one salad we always recommend going for contrasting colours. If you have chosen your favourite eg the Kale and croutons with garlic dressing and parmesan then we recommend going for another colour like the bright yellow in the Freekah salad with turmeric cashew cream or red and white in the harissa and cauliflower. This process is sure to create a visually appealing feast but when selecting contrasting colours it is also important to consider textures. If you are getting a fresh shredded salad then a roasted vegetable salad or salad with grains would make a perfect textural contrast.

Tip #2: Think about what you are serving your salad with
A casual BBQ will always be best complemented with the classics- potato salad and coleslaw. You are going to get a serious upgrade when you select the potato and pea with green tahini dressing or cabbage with parmesan, walnuts and Dijon dressing (great colour combo by the way!) Alternatively if you are serving a slow braised lamb we would recommend going for a more intricate salad like the eggplant and lentil salad with parsley and date dressing and pickled onions with flavour pops that will leave your guests singing your praise.

Tip #3: Consider your guests' dietary restrictions
One of the trickiest parts of catering for a group is allowing for many different dietary needs. Luckily we have done all of this hard work for you. Simply keep in mind if you are choosing a salad for a vegan friend or a gluten free relative and take that into consideration when you make your delicious choice.

Tip #4: To mix or not to mix (flavours)
If I were having a small group of friends over for a casual meal, I would not hesitate in combining 3 different salads into a family box, which feeds 6-8 people as side. The family box is very large and this is a great way to offer a bit of variety without purchasing multiple boxes. On the other hand, if I were hosting a dinner party, I would definitely go with multiple small or medium boxes that each have only one type of salad per box. You might be surprised just how much salad fits into a small box, and it's a great way to present individual bowls and add colour to your spread without risk of messiness or contamination for those wanting to avoid certain options. It also gives your guests the opportunity to really see the individual salad and how much work you put into making them. Well done, you!

Tip #5: If all else fails, ask your salad expert
You would be shocked if you knew just how much salad our incredible team scoop and make every single day. A little known fact is that the team eat lunch for free every day. This means that they have literally tasted every single salad and every combination you could imagine. Of course they all have their favourite but if you really wanted to know what salads to choose from the cabinet then look no further than the server. They can guide you towards which flavours work well together but also which salads are crowd pleasers. You have an expert right at your finger tips and we are here to help!

Bonus Tip

I hope these tips make entertaining friends even easier. Here's the biggest hack of them all: hide the Botanica salad box before your guests arrive and claim all the credit for yourself!

Share your Botanica salad combos with us...